Mar 29, 2011

22nd MEU Deploys to the Med



22nd MEU to deploy this week


MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors with 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C. received deployment orders to support the commanders of the U.S. European, African and Central commands.

The MEU has been instructed to deploy to relieve the 26th MEU and maintain an uninterrupted regional presence to provide the President flexibility on a full range of options.

With the expertise and ability to perform a wide variety of missions, the 22nd MEU provides the President and theater commanders with flexible, agile and responsive force able to respond to potential contingencies. Marine Expeditionary Units are fully capable to conduct a variety of missions from humanitarian assistance to non-combatant evacuations to combat operations.

The 22nd MEU will deploy with Amphibious Squadron 6, and will embark aboard the USS BATAAN (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group, with USS Whidbey Island and USS Mesa Verde accompanying.

"We began with four different elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force," said 22nd MEU Commanding Officer Col. Eric Steidl. "We are now a fully integrated MAGTF, giving the nation a potent worldwide Navy/Marine Corps response force completely capable of conducting a full range of operations from humanitarian assistance to combat."

Over the last several months, the Marines and Sailors of the MEU conducted training across the U.S., not only in Camp Lejeune, but in Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and California. Realistic exercises and countless hours of individual unit training were conducted during the MEU's pre-deployment training in order to ready the Marines and sailors for deployment.

The training focused on a broad number of missions and honed the unit's ability to plan and execute missions from U.S. Navy ships and from ashore. This training enhanced interoperability between the Marines and their naval counterparts and formed the 22nd MEU and BATARG into a seamless Blue/Green team.

"I fully expect the Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU will perform magnificently, and we will do this with professionalism and a mastery of the basics," said Steidl. "The Marines and Sailors of the 22nd MEU are prepared."

The 22nd MEU is a Marine Air Ground Task Force comprised of Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and the Command Element.

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